In my last article, I focused a lot on affiliate marketing and my successes and failures concerning this money making program. Prior to affiliate marketing, I focused on making money through paid online surveys. Let's first get to the main question at hand: Do Paid Surveys Really Pay? The short answer to this is yes. Paid online surveys do actually pay and in most cases, this is not a scam or a waste of time. Prior to really answering this question thoroughly, let me explain what "Paid Surveys" really mean.
While looking for "Online Money Making Opportunities" online, I am sure we have all come across the paid survey ads. When I was initially looking to make a little bit of extra cash to supplement my current income, it seemed to be the most ideal solution. At first, I tried to be "frugal" about it and hunt out paid survey sites on my own. I found about 5 or six sites that promoted offering to pay for taking surveys. I signed up for them, got on their mailing list, and nothing! I waited about 2 weeks for "a survey" and did not get anything. Very annoying! I continued to research the topic (in forums) and started to realize that 5 sites are not enough to get started. That prompted me to join a paid survey site. This is when I learned what "Paid Surveys" is all about!
In order to make paid surveys work, you need to step out of the box a little bit. There is MORE to paid surveys than just "Paid Surveys". Remember, the whole point to getting paid for surveys is for companies to collect data, build profiles and become more successful marketers. Filling out paid surveys online is just one way to do this. Phone interviews are a way to collect data. Online focus groups exist where you join a real-time discussion online. Also, you can read other people's email and get paid for it. While this seems strange, you can get paid a few cents per email, and this can add up in a short hour! There are about a half-dozen more ways as well to earn money through paid survey opportunities.
Getting back to the original question again: Yes, you can get paid for you opinion! Most surveys I have gotten range between $5 and $25 each (for about 15 minutes to an hour of your time). Getting paid to read emails is about one cent to ten cents per email read (and I have made up to about $15 in an hour doing this). The other thing to be aware of is the payment options. A lot of paid survey sites offer compensation in either money and/or prizes. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on why you are doing these programs. Some of the prize sites are pretty nice and you can get more value in prizes than cash.
The main point to be made here is that you will be paid for you time. If you fill out a survey or sit in on a focus group, your time will be compensated. You commitment goes no further than the survey or interview or the group you attend. For people like stay-at-home parents or even college students, this is a great way to bring in a little bit of extra cash at your own leisure. A lot of it is quite a brain-dead exercise that you can do while watching some bad reality TV in the background. My biggest issue with paid surveys is its lack of residual income as well as its income potential.
I see ads that advertise that you can make thousands of dollars per month doing surveys. Their math seems to be pretty convincing as well: If you do two paid surveys a day at $20 each, for 30 days, that is $1200 per month! Wow! How easy! Not quite reality, though. If you sign up with enough paid survey sites, you can expect to get (on average) about 5-10 surveys per week, and most of these pay in the $5-$10 range. If you also join some focus groups and phone interviews, you can add an additional $100 per week. So in reality, making $500 is very doable, but that is near the ceiling for cash potential. It is still not bad! That is an extra $6000 per year (and a fairly respectable car payment!). If you were looking for a higher paying online opportunity, I would then recommend affiliate marketing. Online marketing provides the potential for a lot of residual money (money that is earned while you are not actually driving it) and its earning potential can be in the thousands to tens of thousands per month. Affiliate marketing does require a lot more commitment, initial set-up and a bit of training (all of which is achievable to anyone, as long as they are focused on their goals!). Read my article First Impressions of Affiliate Marketing to learn more about this.
In summary, I would like to give a few suggestions to those who are planning on trying to make money through paid survey programs:
1) Sign up for as many paid surveys as you can! - Most paid survey sites provide you with only one or two survey opportunities per month. If you are signed up on 50 sites, you now can about 2 surveys per day.
2) Sign up for a Paid Survey Link Site - So where do you find these 50 or so sites? That is what these paid survey link sites are all about. Most of them cost about $35 to join, but it is a one time fee (for any reputable site). Trying to find 50 sites on your own would take 10s of hours (and remember, time is money that you can be making filling out surveys!). To learn more about paid survey sites, visit Paid Survey Sites Reviewed
3) Funnel all of your paid survey email into one, new, dedicated email account. - I found that some paid survey opportunities can appear as spam and become lost in a regular email account.
4) Stay Organized! - As you start receiving paid online surveys, start a spreadsheet of whom you are working for and what you expect to be paid. When trying to manage over 50 sites, you can very easily forget which companies owe you money or prizes.
5) Remember, you are still an employee of the paid survey sites! - Be sure to fill out the surveys accurately and consistently. Surveys that have box number three filled out throughout the entire questionnaire provide them with no feedback and you will more than likely stop receiving survey requests. Also, if you start ignoring a lot of requests, they will stop sending them.
Paid surveys are an honest and solid way to make a little extra money on the side. Like any money making opportunity, there is a little bit of initial overhead time, but with paid surveys, once you are set up, you are set up for awhile. You CAN make money working from home and paid surveys are a fairly safe, easy and risk-free way of doing so.
Matthew is a 31 year entrepreneur from San Diego, CA. View my diary of affiliate internet blogging at: http://Affiliate-Diary.TheWebReviewer.com
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